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JetBlue Airways could furlough some in-flight crew, support center staff: memo

Published 07/02/2020, 03:02 PM
Updated 07/02/2020, 03:05 PM
© Reuters. A Jet Blue airplane is seen at Los Angeles International airport

(Reuters) - JetBlue Airways Corp (O:JBLU) could furlough some in-flight crew and support center staff, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters on Thursday, as air travel demand remains weak.

Airlines have been hit hard due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with U.S. carriers including American Airlines (O:AAL), the largest, warning of furloughs in October, when the government payroll aid program for airlines expires.

The U.S. aviation sector received a $32-billion bailout to cover their payrolls under the CARES Act that prohibits airlines from forcing involuntary furloughs before October.

"It continues to be very difficult to predict travel demand, making it equally hard to plan our staffing," JetBlue said in the memo.

"The uncertainty of the industry's recovery and the changing landscape around us means we have to be ready for anything."

© Reuters. A Jet Blue airplane is seen at Los Angeles International airport

JetBlue Airways and a labor union representing pilots, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), had reached an agreement on Wednesday to avoid involuntary furloughs until May 1, 2021.

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